Der Brunnenweg (2008/2009)

An innercity acoustic path

The inner city project 'Der Brunnenweg' contained 7 site specific sound installations which accompagnied the moving of the Städtische Galerie Schweinfurt to the Kunsthalle Schweinfurt. All the compositions were integrated into city structures, the demands of people living and working close by and installed invisible. The compositions played daily between 1,5 and 8 hours depending on the location. The first of the seven stations opened in June 2008 and then one after the other with two or three months in between them until the path was playing completely from June 2009 through August 2009. This assignment plus her experiences from the various 'soundwalkings' she had done in cities, had inspired Tanja Hemm to explore the potential for site specific soundspots within a city more deeply. Following that lead she started to develop a tool to become mobile with the topic as an artist and to enable the listener to become more mobile and independent as well: in August 2010 the applikation art•sounds was launched.


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Project description

'Der Brunnenweg' consisted of seven site specific sound installations which started one after another from June 2008 until June 2009 until the path was completly audible until August 2009.

The project

The seven stations of 'Der Brunnenweg' were each situated in the vicinity of a fountain in the city. The seven compositions develop out of each toher but stand for themselves. It depends on the listening codes of the listener how and what he associates, which inner pictures he creates while he collaborates with himself, the location and the sound. Often wellknown everyday places are then perceived from a new perspective or are perceived for the first time in detail at all.

'Der Brunnenweg' started with the first station at the Friedrich-Rückert-Statue at the market place of Schweinfurt. It is a logistic necessity that the station is named after the spot where is situated. Acoustically the composition seemed to derive out of the nothing and radiate towards the southern end of the market place. The composition of the first station 'Fliegender Teppich' incorporates the topic of the market place and the very diverse activity that happenes there. Once a sound element is detected, it is already gone again.

The course of the seven players of 'Der Brunnenweg' was chosen so that a stringent line formed. From the city center which is defined through everyday life activities, over the crossing where old an new meets, where the new 'Jägersbrunnen' was just about to be constructed, over the wide, modern and splendid 'Schillerplatz' to the final station and art section, the new 'Kunsthalle' in the former Ernst-Sachs-piscine. Old and new, everyday life and art, were connected through sound and content. The new locations in town that are included in the path are comparably big and wide and - blank; from their location history and their architecture. With the movement of sound from old to new, the sound gatheres more and more space for itsself. From vocal improvisations to complete sentences, from remarks to storytelling, from very delicate tunes to intense and dense sounds. The architectural features of the locations were used skilfully, the sound came from a different position at every station: lingering above the heads of the listeners, offering them to sit on it, coming straight out of the ground. Basically like in all of Tanja Hemm's works, the sound seems to come out of the nothing and develop in collaboration with location and listener.

The topic of 'water' mirrors the moving on, giving live, nourishing the city element of the path. Acoustically the real water sounds were coplayers. The research on their sound was an important parmeter for the selection of the sounds used in the compositions as basic lead frequencies and intonations. The loudness of the seven stations was leveled according to the location they were produced for. If the location became louder the composition became quieter and vice versa. The location is considered to be an equal partner to the composition, it is not simply used as a stage.

The challenges of the project were diverse: compositions were needed that focused on one location during four different seasons and different everyday patterns, contentwise as well as technically. Station 1 e.g. played for 14 months daily! Station 2 for 11 months and so on. Plus, several of the locations were still in the process of being build.

Station 1 ' 'Fliegender Teppich' Friedrich-Rückert-Denkmal and southern end of the 'Marktplatz'
'Fliegender Teppich' lingeres with fragile sounds here and there above the market place. You never know when it starts or when it stops it is good luck to meet the installation and when you do you wonder whether it was real. 'Fliegender Teppich' has a surprising fairy tale character.
Daily 10.30 am until noon, 20 short interventions

Station 2: 'Moos' at the 'Marktbrünnle'
'Moos' moves into the sitting ensemble around the Marktbrünnle; two additional sitting options which look just alike the original ones are sound equipped. Thus the passengers have the option to not only hear but feel the sound as they sit on it. They can experience how it feels if you hear sound coming out from under your bottom and simultaneously feel the vibrations in your body.
Daily 11.15am until 5.15 pm, permanent loop, one composition 7:30 min

Station 3: 'Uuuuups' at the 'Rossmarktbrunnen'
'Uuuups!' develops with the day. Short sound compositions, texts or rhythmical sequences of 30 seconds up to 1,5 minutes fall into the square around the Rossmarktbrunnen every quarter of the hour. They evolve from quiet to vivid, from Franconian to a highly artifical language, from traditional instruments like the melodica and the accordeon to the piano.
Daily 10.30am until 6.30pm, every quarter of the hour

Station 4 'Lagerfeuer' (camp fire) at the 'Jägersbrunnen'
The Jägersbrunnen arises like a green oasis with trees, benches and water terraces in the middle of a highly frequented street. As position 4 he connects old and new and carries on fragmented verbal pictures into a melodic storytelling supported from flowing piano tunes. The listener sits on one of the four benches, listenes to the text and imagines sitting at a camp fire.
Daily 3.15 pm until 7.25 pm, endless loop, one composition 25 min

Station 5 'Schillerplatz I' at the 'Schillerplatz'
'Schillerplatz I' enlarges the topic of storytelling into a dialogue situation. Schillerplatz concentrates on the topic of time through a dialogue carried out through letters in which the topic is reflected. The text observes the time and the state of the city during the night and asks the question whether the city sleeps or dreams. the verbal dialogue is between to persons, but is spoken only from one voice. This dramaturgy does not make it clear to the listener whether he overhears a secret conversation or whether he listenes to a story. The borders dissolve, analogue to the one between day and night, according to individual listening reception. Every dialogue sequence is introduced with a rhythmical element.
daily 10.30am until 6.30 pm, endless loop, one composition 25 min

Station 6 'Schillerplatz II' at the 'Schillerplatz'
'Schillerplatz II' enlarges the dialogue reflections of station 5 with citations from Friedrich Schiller, which come out of the concrete floor of the location. They are citations that are also physically embedded into the location, carved into steel in the ground. Thus the dominant visual element of the location is acoustically integrated and activated.
daily 10.30 bis 6.30pm, endless loop, one composition 7:30 min

Station 7 'Finale' in front of the 'Kunsthalle'
'Finale' started with the opening of the new Kunsthalle and places a reduced impuls at an art location which makes its heart beat audible. With this last station, 'Der Brunnenweg' has evolved from everyday focus (1-3), border element between old and new (4), literary artistic commentary (5/6) towards a reduced acoustical impuls (7)for the start of a potentially vivid location for art.
Daily 9.30am until 5.30pm, endless loop